My name is Sam, and I make videos that explore the art, history, and culture of the collectible card game Magic: the Gathering. I have been working on Rhystic Studies since 2013.
In 2021, I completed my Ph.D. in Italian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin with a doctoral thesis on Italo Calvino. I apply the research and writing skills that I developed in graduate school to every video project.
My work uses Magic to learn about the world. What can an allusion to The Great Wave off Kanagawa teach players about the tradition of Japanese woodblock prints? How do Gothic horror tropes and aesthetics become game mechanics? Why are some collectibles so valuable in the secondary markets of our favorite hobbies? Inquiries such as these originated in examining individual Magic cards.
I am passionate about games – how they are made, the stories they tell, and the ways in which they bring us together.
Thanks for watching my videos.